Pickleball started on Bainbridge Island in the 1970s when two fathers were looking for something to do to keep their kids busy during summer vacation. The equipment was a tennis net, a whiffle ball, some ping pong paddles set up on a court with badminton lines. The rules were hammered out over a few weeks of play. Word spread about this goofy game in the small community.
But why the name? The games were interrupted repeatedly when the family dog (named "Pickles") would bound onto the court and abscond with the ball. The families agreed that it should be called pickleball.
In time the sport spread around and was eventually included in the public school curriculum in Washington State. From there it spread south to Oregon and California and east to Idaho and Montana.
By the late 1990s the game had taken a foothold in many retirement communities. As sports go it's easy on the body, a game typically lasts about 15 minutes, and lots of people are able to play a game after just a couple of lessons.
By 2015, with thousands of folks were playing pickleball all over the world, a few enthusiasts were able to go professional.